Note: This is an IMPORTANT subject. As such, the following information should be considered as general advice only. As each dog is an individual please seek veterinary advice, particularly if your dog has any special dietary needs or has a reaction to a standard diet.
The foundation of a typical Frenchies diet should be a high quality balanced premium commercial dog food that is appropriate for their life stage (ie: puppy, adolescent, adult or senior) and their particular health status. Occasionally, you could also offer some natural foods to provide some variety and keep their interest. Examples of natural foods include fresh human-grade raw meat (e.g. raw lamb or steak), raw meaty bones and finely cut vegetables. Make sure that you check with your vet first that raw meaty bones are suitable for your particular dog. Some dogs due to their particular jaw structure (or age) may have difficulty chewing on raw bones.
The reason we suggest that you choose only human-grade raw meat and raw meaty bones are because some raw meat products are marketed as pet food. However, they will often contain preservatives to keep them looking fresh; but these can be detrimental to your Frenchies health. Some raw meat products contain sulphite as a preservative. Sausages are another meat to avoid as they may also contain sulphite.
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How Much Food?
The amount of food your Frenchie will need really depends on their stage of development and how much exercise thay are getting. You will quickly get to know how much they will need per meal. In the meantime, just follow the recommended serving size on the food pack. The main thing to avoid is either to overfeed or underfeed. When you take him for a check up ask the vet to weigh him to make sure he’s within a healthy weight range.
Adult Frenchies should be fed at least twice a day and should not be exercised immediately before or after eating as this may cause bloat. Make sure they have fresh drinking water available at all times, and do not offer your dog milk as this can cause gastrointestinal upsets.
Bones must always be given raw (uncooked). As a rule, Never feed your Frenchie cooked bones as these can splinter, causing potentially fatal internal damage or intestinal obstruction. In terms of frequency, just offer 1 to 2 bones per week, with a few days in between each serving. Too many bones in his diet can often lead to constipation.
For the most part, we should apply some common sense when feeding bones. For example, make sure the bones you are offering are large enough so that he cannot fit the whole bone in his mouth or swallow it. In which case, avoid feeding T-bones and other ‘chop’ bones (e.g. lamb cutlets). It’s also a good idea to always supervise your dog while they are eating bones.
Other useful foods
As an occasionally treat you could offer your Frenchie some fish (such as tinned sardines, tuna or salmon). They may turn their nose up, but it’s worth trying! Just take care to avoid fish bones and choose fish canned in spring water rather than oil or brine.
You could also offer a small amount of cooked vegetables such as pumpkin or carrots, but make sure there are no onions/onion sauces or other toxic substances present (see list below). You could also offer a small amount of plain cooked pasta or rice too.
Do Not ever feed the following substances to your Frenchie as they are toxic. (Please note, this is not a complete list): onions, onion powder, garlic, chocolate, coffee or caffeine based products, mouldy or spoiled foods, avocado, bread dough, yeast dough, grapes, raisins, sultanas (including in Christmas cakes etc), currants, all types of nuts, fruit stones mushrooms, and fruit seeds. Also, never feed the following: corncobs, unripe tomatoes, cooked bones, small pieces of raw bone, fatty trimmings and salt.
Some additional tips on puppy feeding
Note: Again, the following should be considered as general advice only. Please consult your vet particularly if your puppy has any special dietary needs or has a reaction to a standard diet.
A sound basis for most puppy’s diet should be a high quality balanced premium commercial puppy food that is appropriate for their stage in life. It’s important not to underfeed or overfeed puppies, so follow the recommended portion sizes on the pack and you will soon work out the right quantity for each meal. Puppies should be offered food at least 4 times per day to begin with. Then, gradually reduce the number of meals as they grow larger. Have plenty of water available, but no milk.
For variety, you can add some natural human grade raw meat such as lamb (but not lamb chops). Make sure its diced up into small pieces to make it easier to digest. Some vegetables, liked cooked pumpkin and carrots can also be included occasionally. Remember to finely cut the vegetables and mix them in with his regular meal.
You could also gradually introduce some human grade raw meaty bones. No more than once per week to start with. As a rule, always check with your vet first which raw bones are suitable for your puppy. Generally, all bones should be large enough so the puppy cannot fit the whole bone in its mouth.
Your puppy’s permanent teeth start to appear and grow between four to six months old. Introducing fresh raw meaty bones at around the 12-week mark ensures they are chewing actively around the time the permanent teeth erupt. Chewing on raw meaty bones can help to alleviate early “teething” issues. It can also provide several other important benefits such as keeping young teeth and gums healthy.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to supervise your puppy when they are eating raw bones.
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